Monday, March 17, 2014

Guest Post: I used to be the Perfect Parent

I was the perfect parent.  Seriously, I was stellar.  I knew exactly what to do in every single situation life could possibly throw at me.  And then I actually had a child.

Almost a year and a half later I find myself doing the things I promised my pre-parent self I would NEVER do.  For example, an item from a fast-food restaurant was NEVER going to cross the likes of my child's mouth.  Guess what my kid had last night for dinner, yep, chicken nuggets and fries from Wendy's.  I also was never going to let me child be disruptive in a store.  Seriously, do you not have control of your child? What's the problem people?  It can't be that hard to outwit a kid.  Think again.  Just this week my son threw himself down on the floor at a UPS store because I wouldn't let him have my car keys.  My pre-parent self would have judged the heck out of me as I fumbled my way out the door with a screaming toddler in my arms.  

Here's the thing.  Being a parent is really, really hard.  I have had absolutely no training when it comes to parenting.  I was the youngest.  My sister and brother were very much older than me, so I was raised almost as a single child.  I have a degree in English and Journalism, no Childhood Education classes ever came close to touching my curriculum.  So when my kid throws himself on the floor out in public, I am clueless.  I'm sure I'll figure it out.  Same goes with figuring out a way to coax some vegetables into my son.  We have these goals in mind of what we want our life to be.  Keep in mind this is life.  It's going to throw curve balls at you faster than a professional pitcher starting for the Red Sox.  As much as it's exhausting, it's also exhilarating trying to figure it all out.

I've finally stopped judging myself so much.  I kicked my pre-parent self out the door a few months ago.  I'm doing the best I can.  I love my kid so much it hurts.  I think when it comes down to that's the most important thing.  A few happy meals doesn't make me a bad parent.  It's just going to make my clothes tighter because I forgot how darn good those fries are..


Merry is originally from Birmingham, Alabama.  She is currently an adjunct professor at Colby-Sawyer College in New Hampshire and Editor/Reporter at the InterTown Record.


  1. Like! I found myself chuckling at a childless FB friend who posted an article about how NO CHILD under 8 should ever be exposed to playing games on a phone. 5 minutes later, my kid was doodling on my cell phone. Is it worth a screaming match to keep the 6 year old from touching the cell phone?!!!

    1. I totally agree! The reality of parenting is so different than anyone can anticipate. NEVER did I think that I would have to pull all fruit and veg from my kids diet to make him well. NEVER did I think I would let him watch tv all afternoon so I could just veg out because I so desperately needed a break.

      And that fb article about never letting kids near a phone? What the heck? They need to see it and use it to learn that it is a tool and learn that it is ok to put it down. Also, Kiddo is in love with ABC ELMO and Playlab 123, we have so much fun exploring different letter and number games together.

      Thank you Merry for the post, and for being a wonderfully imperfect Mom!